Well, he and his douchey Sigma brothers can fuck right off. I happen to know that some men like curves, particularly men named Conor Edwards.
I can barely keep the smile off my face as I walk into the house. I can’t wait to see him tonight. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I’m so gone for that guy. Just the thought of him makes me want to giggle like a preteen with her first crush.
Upstairs, Sasha has a beauty station set up for me at her desk when I enter her room. I toss my bag on her bed and hang my dress on the closet door. “You’re the best,” I inform her.
“Obviously. Go ahead and wash your face,” she says as she flips through eyeshadow palettes.
“Hey, I just want to make sure,” I call out, standing at the sink in the shared bathroom that connects with the bedroom next door. “There isn’t a surprise party scenario in play, right?”
“Not that I know of.”
I rinse and pat my face dry with a washcloth. When I return, Sasha has me sit at her desk then proceeds to smear me with moisturizer.
“I only ask because I think Conor feels like he has something to prove. So when I said we were just going to have a low-key hang at Malone’s, I wouldn’t be shocked if he spun that into some major event.”
“I don’t think so.” She hands me a tiny electric fan to dry my face.
Next comes the primer, which Sasha is always telling me to add to my makeup routine and I always tell her I would if I ever wore makeup except when she does it, which is why I don’t need to buy makeup products because I have her. It’s a perfect system. When we’re old she’ll live next door and I’ll roll over in my wheelchair to get ready for my hot dates down at the bingo hall.
“What about you?” I ask while she starts on my foundation. “How’d things go with Eric at the gala after I left?”
I wait for her to elaborate. When it becomes clear she has no intention of doing so, I know there’s more to the story.
“So you banged his brains out in the walk-in freezer, didn’t you?”
“That’s unsanitary,” she says.
“Let him eat you out under the silent auction table?”
“Those donations are for the children, you degenerate.”
Sasha is a tough nut. She considers the meddling in the private dramas of others an Olympic sport, but she’s fiercely private about her own life. It’s one of the qualities I most respect about her. She’s good at setting boundaries and standing up for herself, something I aim to get better at. However, those boundaries don’t apply to me, as far as I’m concerned.
“You’re in love with him and you’ve already eloped and gotten married in Reno,” I guess.
“Actually, in my bag there’s a pair of bloody stilettos. If you could dump those over a bridge the next time you head into the city, that’d be super.”
“Come on. I’m not asking for the gory details. Just an update.” I mock pout. “I’ve been feeling left out and I need a Sasha recap.”
She rolls her eyes, smirking as she tells me to close my eyes while she applies shadow.
“The gala went well. We’ve had a few dates since then.”
“Okay…” This is good. He seems like a nice guy. Attractive, charming. Sasha is famously picky and gets the ick the way some people catch colds. I can’t remember the last time she went on more than two dates with anyone.
“I like him,” she continues.
“I think I like his sister more.”
“Damn.” This is, I hate to say, not the first time that’s happened. And it never ends well.
“Yep.” The dilemma is evident in her voice, a sort of resignation to the injustice of her life. “I really need to start making all potential partners run through a slideshow. If they’ve got attractive siblings, that shit is a non-starter. I’m only fucking with the acorns falling from the ugly trees.”
“Is she into girls?”
“Don’t know,” Sasha says. “Like a sixty-forty yes. But they live together, so…”
“So what are you going to— ”
Before I can finish, Sasha’s bedroom door flies open and bangs off the wall. We both jump, startled.
“Yo, what the fuck?” Sasha shouts.
“What did you do?” Rebecca is standing in the doorway, her face red and puffy, as tears stream down her face. She’s shaking, teeth clenched, visibly enraged. “What the hell did you do?”
“Bitch, I have no idea what your problem is, but—”
“Not you. Her.” Finger pointed at me, Rebecca charges into the room holding an iPad. “Did you know about this? Why would you do this to me?”
She’s hysterical. Terrifying, even. The first place my mind goes is that this has something to do with Conor.
“What have I ever done to you?” she yells. “What is wrong with you?”
I stand up, Sasha coming up behind me with a hairbrush like she might have to put her down. “Rebecca,” I say evenly. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. If you explain—”
“Look at this!”
There’s an audience now. Kappas are gathered in the hallway and peering out of their bedrooms to watch.
Rebecca lunges forward and holds up her iPad in front of my face. The browser’s open to a porn site and a video is cued up.
Even before she hits play my stomach sinks. I can tell just by the still image on screen what she’s about to show me.
The kitchen of the Kappa house. It’s dark, night outside. The only illumination comes from fairy lights strung up across the ceiling, and flashlights the sisters flicker and strobe around us, meant to disorient our overtired eyes. The room is draped in tarps and plastic sheeting to protect the walls and floors, like a scene from a bad sorority row horror movie. The senior members of Kappa Chi stand in a circle around six of us dressed in nothing but white tank tops and panties.
It’s Pledge Week. Freshman year. Abigail stands beside me. Both of us are shy and terrified, questioning why we’d thought any of this was a good idea. Exhausted because by then we’d been awake going on thirty hours. Time spent doing laundry for the sisters, escorting them to and from classes, cleaning the house, and being subjected to six straight hours of “character-proving,” because they’re not allowed to call it hazing anymore. All of which culminated in this scene.
One of the seniors orders the six of us pledges to take body shots off each other in a line, then picks up the garden hose they fed in the side door from the yard and sprays us with it. We cower and tremble, spitting up water. Soaked to the bone. Then another sister points to me.
“Dare or Dare.”
Shivering, I wipe water and hair from my eyes, and say, “Dare.”
She smirks. “I dare you to make out with…” Her attention first lands on Abigail. But knowing the two of us were probably the closest of this pledge class, she opts for a greater embarrassment factor. Her eyes slide to my right. “Rebecca.”
With a nod of agreement to simply grin and bear the terribly unsexy episode of kissing while feeling like a couple of drowned cats, Rebecca and I turn to each other and kiss.